Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts

Obama can't kick his legacy down road




President Obama has a small window of opportunity to get Congress to act on his priorities, Gloria Borger says.




STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Gloria Borger: Prospect of deep budget cuts was designed to compel compromise

  • She says the "unthinkable" cuts now have many supporters

  • The likelihood that cuts may happen shows new level of D.C. dysfunction, she says

  • Borger: President may want a 2014 House victory, but action needed now




(CNN) -- So let's try to recount why we are where we are. In August 2011, Washington was trying to figure out how to raise the debt ceiling -- so the US might continue to pay its bills -- when a stunt was hatched: Kick the can down the road.


And not only kick it down the road, but do it in a way that would eventually force Washington to do its job: Invent a punishment.



Gloria Borger

Gloria Borger



If the politicians failed to come up with some kind of budget deal, the blunt instrument of across-the-board cuts in every area would await.


Unthinkable! Untenable!


Until now.


In fact, something designed to be worse than any conceivable agreement is now completely acceptable to many.



And not only are these forced budget cuts considered acceptable, they're even applauded. Some Republicans figure they'll never find a way to get 5% across-the-board domestic spending cuts like this again, so go for it. And some liberal Democrats likewise say 8% cuts in military spending are better than anything we might get on our own, so go for it.


Opinion: Forced budget cuts a disaster for military


The result: A draconian plan designed to force the two sides to get together has now turned out to be too weak to do that.


And what does that tell us? More about the collapse of the political process than it does about the merits of any budget cuts. Official Washington has completely abdicated responsibility, taking its dysfunction to a new level -- which is really saying something.


We've learned since the election that the second-term president is feeling chipper. With re-election came the power to force Republicans to raise taxes on the wealthy in the fiscal cliff negotiations, and good for him. Americans voted, and said that's what they wanted, and so it happened. Even the most sullen Republicans knew that tax fight had been lost.


Points on the board for the White House.






Now the evil "sequester" -- the forced budget cuts -- looms. And the president proposes what he calls a "balanced" approach: closing tax loopholes on the rich and budget cuts. It's something he knows Republicans will never go for. They raised taxes six weeks ago, and they're not going to do it again now. They already gave at the office. And Republicans also say, with some merit, that taxes were never meant to be a part of the discussion of across-the-board cuts. It's about spending.


Politics: Obama more emotional on spending cuts


Here's the problem: The election is over. Obama won, and he doesn't really have to keep telling us -- or showing us, via staged campaign-style events like the one Tuesday in which he used police officers as props while he opposed the forced spending cuts.


What we're waiting for is the plan to translate victory into effective governance.


Sure, there's no doubt the president has the upper hand. He's right to believe that GOP calls for austerity do not constitute a cohesive party platform. He knows that the GOP has no singular, effective leader, and that its message is unformed. And he's probably hoping that the next two years can be used effectively to further undermine the GOP and win back a Democratic majority in the House.


Slight problem: There's plenty of real work to be done, on the budget, on tax reform, on immigration, climate change and guns. A second-term president has a small window of opportunity. And a presidential legacy is not something that can be kicked down the road.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gloria Borger.






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How can U.S. deal with cyber war?




Michael Hayden says lack of domestic agreement is driving U.S. to take the offense on cyber attacks.




STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Obama administration beefing up effort to counter cyberattacks

  • Michael Hayden says emphasis is on striking first, as the U.S. does with drone attacks

  • Ex-CIA director says drone policy reflects lack of consensus on handling prisoners

  • Hayden: Is killing terrorists preferred because of division over how to try them?




Editor's note: Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was appointed by President George W. Bush as CIA director in 2006 and served until February 2009, is a principal with the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm. He serves on the boards of several defense firms and is a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University.


(CNN) -- Human decisions have complex roots: history, circumstance, personality, even chance.


So it's a dangerous game to oversimplify reality, isolate causation and attribute any particular course of action to one or another singular motive.


But let me tempt fate, since some recent government decisions suggest important issues for public discussion.



Michael Hayden

Michael Hayden




Over the past several weeks, press accounts have outlined a series of Obama administration moves dealing with the cyberdefense of the United States.


According to one report, the Department of Defense will add some 4,000 personnel to U.S. Cyber Command, on top of a current base of fewer than a thousand. The command will also pick up a "national defense" mission to protect critical infrastructure by disabling would-be aggressors.


A second report reveals another administration decision, very reminiscent of the Bush Doctrine of preemption, to strike first when there is imminent danger of serious cyberattack against the United States.


Both of these represent dramatic and largely welcome moves.


But they also suggest the failure of a deeper national policy process and, more importantly, the failure to develop national consensus on some very difficult issues.


Chinese military leading cyber attacks


Let me reason by analogy, and in this case the analogy is the program of targeted killings supported and indeed expanded by the Obama administration. Again, I have no legal or moral objections to killing those who threaten us. We are, as the administration rightly holds, in a global state of war with al Qaeda and its affiliates.








But at the level of policy, killing terrorists rather than capturing them seems to be the default option, and part of that dynamic is fairly attributable to our inability to decide where to put a detainee once we have decided to detain him.


Congress won't let him into the United States unless he is going before a criminal court, and the administration will not send him to Guantanamo despite the legitimate claim that a nation at war has the right to detain enemy combatants without trial.


Failing to come to agreement on the implications of the "we are at war" position, we have made it so legally difficult and so politically dangerous to detain anyone that we seem to default to killing those who would do us harm.


Clearly, it's an easier path: no debates over the location or conditions of confinement. Frequently such action can be kept covert. Decision-making is confined to one branch of government. Congress is "notified." Courts are not involved.


Besides, we are powerful. We have technology at our fingertips. We know that we can be precise, and the professionalism of our combatants allows them to easily meet the standards of proportionality and distinction (between combatants and noncombatants) in such strikes, despite claims to the contrary.


And we also believe that we can live with the second and third order effects of targeted killings. We believe that the care we show will set high standards for the use of such weapons by others who will inevitably follow us. We also believe that any long-term blowback (akin to what Gen. Stanley McChrystal calls the image of "arrogance" such strikes create) is more than offset by the immediate effects on America's safety.


I agree with much of the above. But I also fear that the lack of political consensus at home can drive us to routinely exercise an option whose long-term effects are hard to discern. Which brings us back to last week's stories on American cyberdefense.


In the last Congress, there were two prominent bills introduced to strengthen America's cyberdefenses. Neither came close to passing.


In the Senate, the Collins-Lieberman Bill created a near perfect storm with the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Chamber of Commerce weighing in strongly against the legislation. That two such disparate bodies had issues with the legislation should suggest how far we are from a national consensus.


In the House, a modest proposal from the Intelligence Committee to enhance cybersharing between the private sector and the National Security Agency was met with a presidential veto threat over alleged privacy concerns and was never even considered by the Senate.


Indeed, my preferred option -- a more active and well-regulated role for NSA and Cyber Command on and for American networks -- is almost a third rail in the debate over U.S. cybersecurity. The cybertalent and firepower at Fort Meade, where both are headquartered, are on a short leash because few dare to even address what we would ask them to do or what we would permit them to do on domestic networks.


And hence, last week's "decisions." Rather than settle the roles of these institutions by dealing with the tough issues of security and privacy domestically, we have opted for a policy not unlike targeted killing. Rather than opt for the painful process of building consensus at home, we are opting for "killing" threats abroad in their "safe haven."


We appear more willing to preempt perceived threats "over there" than spill the domestic political blood that would be needed to settle questions about standards for the defense of critical infrastructure, the role of government surveillance or even questions of information sharing. And we seem willing to live with the consequences, not unlike those of targeted killings, of the precedent we set with a policy to shoot on warning.


I understand the advantage that accrues to the offense in dealing with terrorists or cyberthreats. I also accept the underlying legality and morality of preemptive drone or cyberstrikes.


I just hope that we don't do either merely because we don't have the courage to face ourselves and make some hard decisions at home.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Michael Hayden.






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Borneo tension linked to rebel deal




STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • More than 100 Filipinos arrived by boat on the Malaysian coast last week

  • They say they represent a sultanate that once ruled the area

  • The move seems to be a response to a recent peace deal in the Philippines

  • The leaders of the sultanate appear to have felt left out of the accord, an expert says




(CNN) -- The peculiar standoff on Borneo between Malaysian security forces and a group of men from the southern Philippines has its roots in a recent landmark peace deal between Manila and Muslim rebels, according to an expert on the region.


More than 100 men from the mainly Muslim southern Philippines came ashore in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo early last week demanding to be recognized as representatives of a sultanate that has historical claims on the area.


Their claims touch on an unresolved territorial question between the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as Manila's efforts to improve relations with Islamic insurgents in the country's south after decades of violence.


Malaysian police and armed forces soon surrounded the village in the eastern Sabah district of Lahad Datu where the men had gathered. Police officials said they were negotiating with the group in an effort to persuade its members to return to their homes in the Philippines peacefully.


The Philippine government also urged them to come back to the country, saying it hadn't authorized their voyage. There was no indication of a resolution to the standoff on Monday.


The men claim to be the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu, which once encompassed Sabah, and say they don't want their people to be sent away from the area, Malaysian authorities said. There are conflicting claims about to what extent the men are armed.


Eroded power


Over the weekend, comments appeared in the news media from representatives of the sultanate, whose power is now largely symbolic, saying that their followers who had gone to Sabah planned to stay where they were.


"Nobody will be sent to the Philippines. Sabah is our home," Jamalul Kiram, a member of the sultanate's ruling family, told reporters in Manila on Sunday, according to Agence France-Presse.


The sultanate's claim to Sabah plays a long-standing and important role in the Philippine government's relationship with the country's Muslim minority and with neighboring Malaysia, said Julkipli Wadi, the dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of the Philippines.


Established in the 15th century, the Sultanate of Sulu became an Islamic power center in Southeast Asia that at one point ruled Sabah.


But the encroachment of Western colonial powers, followed by the emergence of the Philippines and Malaysia as independent nation states, steadily eroded the sultanate's power, according to Wadi.


It became "a sultanate without a kingdom" to rule over, he said. Sulu is now a province within the Republic of the Philippines.


But the sultanate has nonetheless retained influence over some people in the southern Philippines and Sabah who still identify themselves with it, according to Wadi.


Excluded from a peace deal


The members of the sultanate's royal family, although riven by internal disputes over who the rightful sultan is today, appear to have felt isolated by the provisional accord signed in October by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has fought for decades to establish an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines.


Malaysia, a mainly Muslim country, helped facilitate the agreement.


Kiram was cited by AFP as saying that the sultanate's exclusion from the deal, which aims to set up a new autonomous region to be administered by Muslims, prompted the decision to send the men to Sabah this month.


Dispatching the boat loads of followers to Lahad Datu served to make the sultanate's presence felt, according to Wadi.


"The whole aim is not to create conflict or initiate war, it is just to position themselves and make governments like Malaysia and the Philippines recognize them," he said.


Historical ties


The economic, cultural and historical links between Sabah and the nearby Philippines islands, as well as the porous nature of the border between the two, means that many of the Filipino men have friends and relatives in Lahad Datu.


But the historical connection still fuels tensions between Malaysia and the Philippines, with Manila retaining a "dormant claim" to Sabah through the Sultanate of Sulu, according to the CIA World Factbook.


According to the official Philippine News Agency, Manila still claims much of the eastern part of Sabah, which was leased to the British North Borneo Company in 1878 by the Sultanate of Sulu. In 1963, Britain transferred Sabah to Malaysia, a move that the sultanate claimed was a breach of the 1878 deal.


Malaysia still pays a token rent to the sultanate for the lease of Sabah, according to Wadi.







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Model: Getting what I don't deserve






STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Model Cameron Russell's TED Talk has been viewed more than a million times

  • She says, as winner of "genetic lottery," she has been able to have a modeling career

  • Her looks fit a narrow definition of beauty, she says

  • Russell: I work hard but my modeling career gives my views undeserved attention




Editor's note: Cameron Russell has been a model for brands such as Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Benetton and has appeared in the pages of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and W. She spoke at TEDx MidAtlantic in October. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to "ideas worth spreading" which it makes available through talks posted on its website.


(CNN) -- Last month the TEDx talk I gave was posted online. Now it has been viewed over a million times. The talk itself is nothing groundbreaking. It's a couple of stories and observations about working as a model for the last decade.


I gave the talk because I wanted to tell an honest personal narrative of what privilege means.


I wanted to answer questions like how did I become a model. I always just say, " I was scouted," but that means nothing.


The real way that I became a model is that I won a genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy. What do I mean by legacy? Well, for the past few centuries we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry that we're biologically programmed to admire, but also as tall, slender figures, and femininity and white skin. And this is a legacy that was built for me, and it's a legacy that I've been cashing in on.


Some fashionistas may think, "Wait. Naomi. Tyra. Joan Smalls. Liu Wen." But the truth is that in 2007 when an inspired NYU Ph.D. student counted all the models on the runway, of the 677 models hired, only 27, or less than four percent, were non-white.


Usually TED only invites the most accomplished and famous people in the world to give talks. I hoped telling a simple story -- where my only qualification was life experience (not a degree, award, successful business or book) -- could encourage those of us who make media to elevate other personal narratives: the stories of someone like Trayvon Martin, the undocumented worker, the candidate without money for press.



Instead my talk reinforced the observations I highlighted in it: that beauty and femininity and race have made me the candy of mass media, the "once you pop you just can't stop" of news.


In particular it is the barrage of media requests I've had that confirm that how I look and what I do for a living attracts enormous undeserved attention.


Do I want a TV show? Do I want to write a book? Do I want to appear in a movie? Do I want to speak to CNN, NBC, NPR, the Times of India, Cosmo, this blogger and that journal? Do I want to speak at this high school, at that college, at Harvard Law School or at other conferences?


TED.com: A teen just trying to figure it out



I am not a uniquely accomplished 25-year-old. I've modeled for 10 years and I took six years to finish my undergraduate degree part-time, graduating this past June with honors from Columbia University. If I ever had needed to put together a CV it would be quite short. Like many young people I'd highlight my desire to work hard.


But hard work is not why I have been successful as a model. I'm not saying I'm lazy. But the most important part of my job is to show up with a 23-inch waist, looking young, feminine and white. This shouldn't really shock anyone. Models are chosen solely based on looks. But what was shocking to me is that when I spoke, the way I look catapulted what I had to say on to the front page.


Even if I did give a good talk, is what I have to say more important and interesting than what Colin Powell said? (He spoke at the same event and his talk has about a quarter of the view count.)




TED.com: Isaac Mizrahi on fashion and creativity


Like many young people I believe I have potential to make a positive impact in the world. But if I speak from a platform that relies on how I look, I worry that I will not have made room for anyone else to come after me. I will have reinforced that beauty and race and privilege get you a news story. The schoolteacher without adequate support, the domestic worker without rights, they won't be up there with me.


So what do I do? I am being handed press when good press for important issues is hard to come by. These outlets are the same outlets that spent two years not reporting a new drone base in Saudi Arabia while press in the UK covered it.


They are the same organizations that have forgotten New Orleans and forgotten to follow up on contractors who aren't fulfilling their responsibilities there -- important not only for the people of NOLA, but also for setting a precedent for the victims of Sandy, and of the many storms to come whose frequency and severity will rise as our climate changes.


TED. com: Amy Tan on where creativity hides


Should I tell stories like these instead of my own? I don't feel like I have the authority or experience to do so.


How can we change this cycle? The rise of the Internet and the camera phone have started to change what stories are accessible. And we now have the ability to build more participatory media structures. The Internet often comes up with good answers to difficult questions. So I ask: How can we build media platforms accessible to a diversity of content creators?


On a personal note, what should I talk about? Do I refuse these offers outright because of my lack of experience, because I'm not the right person to tell the stories that are missing from the media? Can I figure out a way to leverage my access to bring new voices into the conversation? Right now I'm cautiously accepting a few requests and figuring out what it all means.


I'm listening, tweet me @cameroncrussell


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Cameron Russell.






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Pope's resignation 'shows leadership'











By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor


February 16, 2013 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)




















Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes


Longest-reigning popes








STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Pope Benedict stuns world by announcing he will resign

  • Roland Martin says it's a wise decision for a leader to step down when his powers fail

  • He says a mark of a good leader is the care he takes about the institution he is leaving

  • Martin: Too many in power try to hang on after they are no longer capable




Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."


(CNN) -- When Thurgood Marshall retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1991, a reporter asked him what were the medical reasons that contributed to his leaving the bench -- and its lifetime appointment -- after serving for nearly 25 years. He was his usual blunt self.



"What's wrong with me?" Marshall said at the packed news conference. "I'm old. I'm getting old and falling apart."



When the news broke this week that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down as the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics because of his concerns about being able to do the job, many began to speculate that there were other reasons for the decision.




Roland Martin

Roland Martin



We have become accustomed to a pope dying in office. That's not a surprise. It has been nearly 600 years since the last pope, Gregory XII, quit in 1415.



Even though the job of pope is a lifetime appointment, frankly, it is selfish of any individual to hold on to the job for dear life, knowing full well they don't have the capacity to do the job.




"Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," according to a statement from Pope Benedict released by the Vatican.



Whether we want to be honest or not, it was sad to watch the decline of Pope John Paul II. He was a vibrant figure when he became pope in 1978, traveling the world and spreading the gospel to anyone who would listen. But toward the end of his life in 2005, he was barely able to move or talk, clearly worn down by significant health challenges.



Any leader who respects the organization they serve should have the common sense to know when it's time to say goodbye. We've seen countless examples of CEOs, pastors, politicians and others hang on and on to a position of power, hurting the very people they were elected or chosen to serve.



It takes considerable courage for anyone to step away from the power bestowed upon them by a position, as well as the trappings that come with it.



I'll leave it to others to try to figure out other reasons behind the resignation. But we should at least acknowledge the value of an ego-less decision that reflects humility and concern about the very institution the pope pledged his life to.



All leaders should be concerned about their institution continuing to grow and thrive once their days are no more. That's why a proper succession plan is vitally important.


Too often we have assessed great leaders by what they did in their positions. But their final legacy really is defined by how they left a place.



Pope Benedict XVI knows full well the Catholic Church cannot grow and prosper if its leader is limited in traveling and attending to his flock. There comes a time when one chapter must end and another begins. He has more days behind him than in front of him. He should enjoy his last years in peace and tranquility, without having to worry about trying to do the work designed for a younger man.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland S. Martin.











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How Carnival can clean up PR mess






STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • David Bartlett: For Carnival, impact of 'cruise from hell' potentially devastating.

  • Passenger video, media puts Carnival increasingly on the defensive, he says

  • He says it must show real concern, lay out plan, go a long way to make amends

  • Don't try to justify or explain, he says, but get proactive now about fixing problem




Editor's note: David Bartlett is a senior vice president of Levick, a crisis and issues management and strategic communications firm based in Washington. He is the author of "Making Your Point" (St. Martin's Press), a guide to communication strategy and tactics.


(CNN) -- As three tugboats towed the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph back to port in Mobile, Alabama, things went from bad to worse.


The fire that caused the ship to lose power and drift aimlessly on rough Gulf of Mexico swells was just the beginning. Raw sewage seeped into corridors and cabin ways. Food had to be rationed. There were fears of looting. Not surprisingly, passengers were furious and emotional. Some were reported to be "acting like savages."


For Carnival and the rest of the cruise line industry, the implications are potentially devastating. The deadly capsizing in January 2012 of the Costa Concordia ship off the coast of Italy still lingers in the public's mind. About a month later, the Costa Allegra liner suffered a similar engine fire, lost power, and was set adrift in pirate-infested waters in the Indian Ocean. Carnival owns Costa Cruises, and now a third high-profile crisis for Carnival in just over a year threatens to cement the perception among vacationers that cruising might not be worth the risk.


Five things we've learned about cruises



David Bartlett

David Bartlett




In the age of social and digital media, the problems faced by cruise lines are compounded. Using mobile phones, passengers aboard the Triumph have been providing concerned family members with constant updates. Those enraged family members have immediately passed the horror stories along to the eager media. The public is getting the full play-by-play in virtual real time, leaving Carnival playing catchup from an increasingly defensive posture.


But as bad as the potential damage to Carnival's image may be, the company, as well as the rest of the cruise line industry, has an opportunity to blunt the impact, if it acts quickly and wisely.


It seems counterintuitive, but while the gruesome stories of the "cruise from hell" are still fresh, the crisis offers an opportunity for the cruise line to make a compelling statement about the industry's commitment to its passengers. (Statements from Carnival.)


Crisis management experts know that customers and the general public are more likely to judge an organization by how it handles a problem than how it got into the problem in the first place. That means Carnival has to go much further than mere reimbursements and vouchers for onward travel.


The challenge to Carnival's reputation is three-fold.


First the company must articulate real concern for passengers and clearly communicate what it is doing to make things right for customers. This will require financial sacrifices, of course. But Carnival has little choice but to pay now and win some badly needed goodwill -- or pay later in the courtroom, in the court of public opinion, and, of course, at the cash register when bookings decline.


Second, the company must clearly communicate what it is doing to fix the problem and prevent anything like it from ever happening again. How did an engine fire, serious as that might be, so quickly develop into a disaster of this magnitude?


My celebration trip on the Carnival Triumph: From joy to misery


How could it have been allowed to happen? Why was the widely reported chaos and disorder allowed to develop? Why did Carnival not have emergency response plans in place? What is the industry doing to prepare for what would seem to be a manageable situation? The public will demand answers to these basic questions before it will begin to trust again. Uncertainty breathes life into a crisis. Accurate and timely information smothers it.




Third, Carnival must aggressively and clearly deliver these messages now, and for as long as it takes to restore the public's trust.


So far, the story has been about the unthinkable conditions the passengers have been forced to endure. Carnival must move aggressively to reshape that narrative to reflect all that it is doing to rectify the situation.


After a bad cruise, can you cruise into court?


Carnival has to resist the temptation to explain, minimize, or justify what happened and position itself instead as part of the solution to the problems that caused the disaster. That is what the public will focus on and remember, but only if Carnival is able to communicate it fast and effectively.


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The opinions in this commentary are solely those of David Bartlett.






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How safe are nanoparticles in food?







STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Andy Behar: Some foods contain tiny, engineered particles called nanomaterials

  • Behar: Nanoparticles might pose health risks, since they have adversely affected mice

  • He says not enough studies have adequately demonstrated the safety of nanoparticles

  • Behar: With an emerging technology such as this, companies have to be careful




Editor's note: Andy Behar is the chief executive of As You Sow, a nonprofit organization that promotes corporate accountability.


(CNN) -- Some foods sold in supermarkets across America contain tiny, engineered particles called nanomaterials. Our organization decided to test doughnuts after learning that the titanium dioxide used as a coloring in the powdered sugar coating likely contained nano-sized particles.


The tests, conducted by an independent laboratory, found that both Dunkin' Donuts Powdered Cake Donuts and Hostess Donettes did indeed contain titanium dioxide nanoparticles. In response, a spokeswoman for Dunkin Donuts said the company was looking into the matter.


You must be wondering: What are nanomaterials? They are microscopic in size. "If a nanoparticle were the size of a football, a red blood cell would be the size of the field." Nanoparticles have been heralded as having the potential to revolutionize the food industry -- from enabling the production of creamy liquids that contain no fat, to enhancing flavors, improving supplement delivery, providing brighter colors, keeping food fresh longer, or indicating when it spoils.



Andy Behar

Andy Behar



But there are a few problems.


One is that no one knows how many and which food products have them. Companies are not being forthcoming about whether they are using nanoparticles. To further complicate the issue, some companies may not even be aware that they are selling products containing them.


Many companies are reluctant or uninterested in discussing the issue, and concrete information has been difficult to obtain. The majority of food companies are not responsive in providing information about their specific uses, plans and policies toward nanoparticles. There is also no law in the United States that requires disclosure. In contrast, companies in the European Union are required to label foods containing nanoparticles.


The bigger issue with nanoparticles is that they might pose health risks, as they have been found to in tests on mice.


There are not nearly enough studies that can adequately demonstrate the safety of nanoparticles in food additives or packaging. Scientists are still investigating how the broad range of nanoparticles, with their myriad potential uses, would react in the body.


When ingested, nano-sized particles can pass into the blood and lymph, where they circulate through the body and reach in potentially sensitive sites such as bone marrow, lymph nodes, the spleen, the brain, the liver and the heart.


Our knowledge about how nanomaterial food additives react in the body and their health impact is still in its infancy. While efforts are under way to understand them better, much deeper scientific inquiry should occur before nanoparticles are sold in food and food-related products.


More companies and consumers need to be aware of the use of engineered nanomaterials in foods and the potential unknown risks of this technology. More food products like M&M's and Pop-Tarts should be tested as recent studies have identified them as likely to contain nanomaterials as well.


Fortunately, a few companies have become willing to take a public position on nanoparticles.


McDonald stated that it "does not currently support the use by suppliers of nano-engineered materials in the production of any of our food, packaging, and toys." Similarly, Kraft Foods said that it was not using nanotechnology.


Some of the largest food companies in the world, including YUM! Brands, PepsiCo, and Whole Foods, need to know more about nanomaterials and check with their supplies to see if they are using them.


Americans are becoming increasingly interested in what is in the food they're eating. No longer content with label information on daily allowances of vitamins and minerals, U.S. consumers are following the lead of their counterparts in many other countries by demanding more disclosure about where and how their food is grown and whether it is safe.


Even though communicating risks to consumers can be challenging, the public's perception of safety will be paramount in determining the acceptance of nanomaterials. This is especially true for an emerging food-products technology the safety of which even the FDA has acknowledged a lack of understanding.



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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Andy Behar.






Read More..

Obama speech 'relied on amnesia'






STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Matt Welch: State of the Union featured content-free calls to action for action's sake

  • He says governed might want to know what they've gotten in return for ballooning debt

  • Didn't we try repairing infrastructure with the stimulus package? he asks

  • Welch: Rand Paul spoke to those who think government should get out of way




Editor's note: Matt Welch is editor in chief of Reason and co-author of "The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America" (Public Affairs).


(CNN) -- The two most memorable lines of President Barack Obama's fourth State of the Union address were the ad-libbed: "Get it done" (which doesn't appear in the remarks as prepared), and the emotional "They deserve a vote," concerning victims of gun violence.


As exasperated appeals for an obstructionist Congress to get off its duff, the exhortations provided emotional catnip for Democrats. For the rest of us, however, they were sobering reminders of what governing liberalism has deteriorated into: content-free calls to take action for action's sake.


Consumers of national governance are within their rights to ask just what we've gotten in return for ballooning the cost of the stuff since 2000. The answer may lie in not just what the president said, but what he has assumed we've already forgotten.



Matt Welch

Matt Welch



"Let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years," said the president, who promised a "Recovery Through Retrofit" three years ago. "The American people deserve a tax code that ... lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America," said the man who before he took office vowed to, uh, give "tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States."


That "aging infrastructure badly in need of repair"? Well, what happened to the $50 billion from the stimulus package dedicated to precisely that task, or the $50 billion plan 18 months later? Making college "more affordable"? That has been the motivation for continuous ratcheting of government involvement in higher education, which has -- surprise! -- coincided with a several-decade increase in tuition costs and student loan debt.


Greene: In 2013, democracy talks back



Do-something politics works when Americans have amnesia, or are reacting to headline-making tragedies, or when they just want free stuff. But this irresistible force is butting up against the immovable object of a have-nothing U.S. Treasury. Debt service costs will soon overtake defense spending, and baby boomer entitlements are about to transform the federal government into a check-writing program for senior citizens.


Americans know by now that Obama can't possibly believe his own promises that his policies won't "increase our deficit by a single dime," not only because of his poor track record with that particular vow, but because he spends the rest of his time talking about all the various things the government needs to "invest" to create "broad-based growth." It's a conflict at the basic level of vision with those of us who think prosperity is mostly a private-sector affair that is on balance imperiled, not improved, by the exertions of a deficit-spending government.


Opinion: Obama dares Congress to get the job done








Thankfully, and quite unlike during the 2012 presidential campaign, the competing vision was voiced Tuesday night. Not necessarily by a dehydrated but game Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address, but by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who did the honors online for the tea party.


"The path we are on is not sustainable," Paul said, directly. "All that we are, all that we wish to be, is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it, too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don't have."


Paul dinged Republicans as well as Democrats, targeted military spending as well as entitlements, and spent a good 30 seconds giving a more full-throated defense of wartime civil liberties than the allegedly anti-war candidate Obama ever did.


Most importantly, he laid out a truly alternative vision that speaks directly to the growing number of Americans who feel like the federal government has failed as the engine of economic growth, and needs urgently to take a back seat before it does more harm.


Rothkopf: This time, a president in full


"What America needs," Paul said, "is not Robin Hood, but Adam Smith." As Obamanomics continues underperforming through a second term, it will be fascinating to see whether Ron Paul's kid can get more people to agree.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Matt Welch.






Read More..

Was euro ever 'about to collapse'?








By Ramy Inocencio, for CNN


February 12, 2013 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)









STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Former European Central Bank chief says euro was never going to collapse

  • In 2012, critics predicted at least partial breakup of 17-member eurozone

  • Euro plunged to 25-month low against U.S. dollar in July 2012

  • Currency war fears prevail in run-up to G20 finance ministers meeting this week




Hong Kong (CNN) -- Less than six months ago, eurozone watchers had been predicting the breakup of the 17-member bloc of nations as the euro plunged to a 25-month low against the U.S. dollar last July.


Even as recently as November, Warren Buffett, the famed CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said of the eurozone's future that "it's hard to tell exactly how it comes out."


But since then, the euro has appreciated nearly 11% as its member countries battled to contain sovereign debt crises, rising unemployment and social unrest. The euro now stands at a 13-month high against the greenback.


And flying in the face of last year's critics, former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet told CNN's Nina dos Santos that the euro "was never about to collapse" and that its viability as a currency is solid.








"The euro as a currency has never been put in question," asserted Trichet, while at the same time admitting the euro area's financial stability and credit worthiness had been tested.


As for the euro, he said it "is certainly reliable and credible."


Yet, the euro's gains over the past seven months is a mixed blessing. Arguments have long-existed for and against a stronger currency. Appreciation means investors are more confident in the euro but eurozone exports become more expensive when sold overseas; devaluation makes the bloc's exports more competitive globally, which many eurozone officials would prefer.


But if the world's major economies devalued their currencies to make exports more competitive and to spur their economies to growth again, it would be chaos, says Trichet.


"If the reasoning is the same in all constituencies you have nothing but...a 'beggar-thy-neighbor' policy which is a recipe for catastrophe."


That catastrophe could take the form of an all-out currency war. And this week, the world's leading banks called on the G20 group of richest nations to avoid such an outcome.


"We believe major central banks should focus on enhancing their cooperation...to guide market expectations and thus help avoid a disorderly interest rate adjustment process and undue exchange rate volatility," the Institute of International Finance wrote in a letter to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who is chairing the G20 finance minister's meeting later this week.


But with the eurozone in recession for the second time in four years, the desire to devalue the euro may be strong. The European Central Bank in December cut its 2013 growth forecast, with a best-case growth rate scenario of only 0.3%.


"It is no time for complacency," warned Trichet who added that the central banks of the United States, Japan and Europe as well as their private sectors should get their "house(s) in order."












Part of complete coverage on







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Why pope will long be remembered





































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Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict XVI


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STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Timothy Stanley: Benedict XVI's resignation is historic since popes usually serve for life

  • He says pope not so much conservative as asserting church's "living tradition"

  • He backed traditionalists, but a conflicted flock, scandal, culture wars a trial to papacy, he says

  • Stanley: Pope kept to principle, and if it's not what modern world wanted, that's world's problem




Editor's note: Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of "The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."


(CNN) -- Journalists have a habit of calling too many things "historic" -- but on this occasion, the word is appropriate. The Roman Catholic Church is run like an elected monarchy, and popes are supposed to rule until death; no pope has stepped down since 1415.


Therefore, it almost feels like a concession to the modern world to read that Benedict XVI is retiring on grounds of ill health, as if he were a CEO rather than God's man on Earth. That's highly ironic considering that Benedict will be remembered as perhaps the most "conservative" pope since the 1950s -- a leader who tried to assert theological principle over fashionable compromise.


The world "conservative" is actually misleading, and the monk who received me in to the Catholic Church in 2006 -- roughly a year after Benedict began his pontificate -- would be appalled to read me using it. In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error. As such, Benedict would understand the more controversial stances that he took as pope not as "turning back the clock" but as asserting a living tradition that had become undervalued within the church. His success in this regard will be felt for generations to come.



Timothy Stanley

Timothy Stanley



He not only permitted but quietly encouraged traditionalists to say the old rite, reviving the use of Latin or receiving the communion wafer on the tongue. He issued a new translation of the Roman Missal that tried to make its language more precise. And, in the words of one priest, he encouraged the idea that "we ought to take care and time in preparing for the liturgy, and ensure we celebrate it with as much dignity as possible." His emphasis was upon reverence and reflection, which has been a healthy antidote to the 1960s style of Catholicism that encouraged feverish participation bordering on theatrics.


Nothing the pope proposed was new, but it could be called radical, trying to recapture some of the certainty and beauty that pervaded Catholicism before the reforming Vatican II. Inevitably, this upset some. Progressives felt that he was promoting a form of religion that belonged to a different century, that his firm belief in traditional moral theology threatened to distance the church from the people it was supposed to serve.



If that's true, it wasn't the pope's intent. Contrary to the general impression that he's favored a smaller, purer church, Benedict has actually done his best to expand its reach. The most visible sign was his engagement on Twitter. But he also reached out to the Eastern Orthodox Churches and spoke up for Christians persecuted in the Middle East.


In the United Kingdom, he encouraged married Anglican priests to defect. He has even opened up dialogue with Islam. During his tenure, we've also seen a new embrace of Catholicism in the realm of politics, from Paul Ryan's nomination to Tony Blair's high-profile conversion. And far from only talking about sex, Benedict expanded the number of sins to include things such as pollution. It's too often forgotten that in the 1960s he was considered a liberal who eschewed the clerical collar.






The divisions and controversies that occurred under Benedict's leadership had little to do with him personally and a lot more to do with the Catholic Church's difficult relationship with the modern world. As a Catholic convert, I've signed up to its positions on sexual ethics, but I appreciate that many millions have not. A balance has to be struck between the rights of believers and nonbelievers, between respect for tradition and the freedom to reject it.


As the world has struggled to strike that balance (consider the role that same-sex marriage and abortion played in the 2012 election) so the church has found itself forced to be a combatant in the great, ugly culture war. Benedict would rather it played the role of reconciler and healer of wounds, but at this moment in history that's not possible. Unfortunately, its alternative role as moral arbiter has been undermined by the pedophile scandal. Nothing has dogged this pontificate so much as the tragedy of child abuse, and it will continue to blot its reputation for decades to come.


For all these problems, my sense is that Benedict will be remembered as a thinker rather than a fighter. I have been so fortunate to become a Catholic at a moment of liturgical revival under a pope who can write a book as majestic and wise as his biography of Jesus. I've been lucky to know a pope with a sense of humor and a willingness to talk and engage.


If he wasn't what the modern world wanted -- if he wasn't prepared to bend every principle or rule to appease all the people all the time -- then that's the world's problem rather than his. Although he has attained one very modern distinction indeed. On Monday, he trended ahead of Justin Bieber on Twitter for at least an hour.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Stanley.






Read More..

Why real prizes come after a Grammy













Legends beyond their own time


Legends beyond their own time


Legends beyond their own time


Legends beyond their own time


Legends beyond their own time


Legends beyond their own time








STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Bob Greene: Grammy nominated acts should remember the real prize comes later in life

  • He says at a hotel he ran into a group of singing stars from an earlier era, in town for a show

  • He says the world of post-fame touring less glamorous for acts, but meaningful

  • Greene: Acts grow old, but their hits never will and to fans, the songs are time-machine




Editor's note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a best-selling author whose 25 books include "When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams"; "Late Edition: A Love Story"; and "Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen."


(CNN) -- Memo to Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean, Hunter Hayes, Mumford & Sons, Miguel, the Alabama Shakes and all the other young singers and bands who are nominated for Sunday night's Grammy Awards:


Your real prize -- the most valuable and sustaining award of all -- may not become evident to you until 30 or so years have passed.


You will be much older.


But -- if you are lucky -- you will still get to be out on the road making music.



Bob Greene

Bob Greene



Many of Sunday's Grammy nominees are enjoying the first wave of big success. It is understandable if they take for granted the packed concert venues and eye-popping paychecks.


Those may go away -- the newness of fame, the sold-out houses, the big money.


But the joy of being allowed to do what they do will go on.


I've been doing some work while staying at a small hotel off a highway in southwestern Florida. One winter day I was reading out on the pool deck, and there were some other people sitting around talking.


They weren't young, by anyone's definition. They did not seem like conventional businessmen or businesswomen on the road, or like retirees. There was a sense of nascent energy and contented anticipation in their bearing, of something good waiting for them straight ahead. A look completely devoid of grimness or fretfulness, an afternoon look that said the best part of the day was still to come.


I would almost have bet what line of work they were in. I'd seen that look before, many times.


I could hear them talking.


Yep.


The Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight," a No. 1 hit in 1961).




Little Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him," a No. 1 hit in 1963).


Little Anthony and the Imperials ("Tears on My Pillow," a top 10 hit in 1958).


Major singing stars from an earlier era of popular music, in town for a multi-act show that evening.


It is the one sales job worth yearning for -- carrying that battered sample case of memorable music around the country, to unpack in front of a different appreciative audience every night.


It's quite a world. I was fortunate enough to learn its ins and outs during the 15 deliriously unlikely years I spent touring the United States singing backup with Jan and Dean ("Surf City," a No. 1 hit in 1963) and all the other great performers with whom we shared stages and dressing rooms and backstage buffets:


Chuck Berry, Martha and the Vandellas, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, James Brown, Lesley Gore, Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, the Kingsmen, the Drifters, Fabian, the Coasters, Little Eva, the Ventures, Sam the Sham. ...


Jukebox names whose fame was once as fresh and electric as that now being savored by Sunday's young Grammy nominees.


Decades after that fame is new, the road may not be quite as glamorous, the crowds may not be quite as large. The hours of killing time before riding over to the hall, the putrid vending-machine meals on the run, the way-too-early-in-the-morning vans to the airport -- the dreary parts all become more than worth it when, for an hour or so, the singers can once again personally deliver a bit of happiness to the audiences who still adore their music.


Greene: Super Bowl ad revives iconic voice


As the years go by, the whole thing may grow complicated -- band members come and go, they fight and feud, some quit, some die. There are times when it seems you can't tell the players without a scorecard -- the Tokens at the highway hotel were, technically and contractually, Jay Siegel's Tokens (you don't want to know the details). One of their singers (not Jay Siegel -- Jay Traynor) was once Jay of Jay and the Americans, a group that itself is still out on the road in a different configuration with a different Jay (you don't want to know).


But overriding all of this is a splendid truism:


Sometimes, if you have one big hit, it can take care of you for the rest of your life. It can be your life.


Sunday's young Grammy nominees may not imagine, 30 years down the line, still being on tour. But they -- the fortunate ones -- will come to learn something:


They will grow old, but their hits never will -- once people first fall in love with those songs, the songs will mean something powerful and evocative to them for the rest of their lives.


And as long as there are fairground grandstands on summer nights, as long as there are small-town ballparks with stages where the pitcher's mound should be, the singers will get to keep delivering the goods.


That is the hopeful news waiting, off in the distance, for those who will win Grammys Sunday, and for those who won't be chosen.


On the morning after that pool-deck encounter in Florida I headed out for a walk, and in the parking lot of the hotel I saw one of the Tokens loading his stage clothes into his car.


His license plate read:


SHE CRYD


I said to him:


"You sing lead on 'She Cried,' right?"


"Every night," he said, and drove off toward the next show.


The next show.


That's the prize.


That's the trophy, right there.


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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene.






Read More..

How Obama can end Congo conflict












Conflict in Congo


Conflict in Congo


Conflict in Congo


Conflict in Congo


Conflict in Congo








STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • President Obama can help end the Congo conflict for good, says Vava Tampa

  • Obama has asked Rwanda to end all support to armed groups in the Congo

  • FDLR militia gang is a threat to stability and must leave Congo

  • Obama must push for change in Congolese government, argues Tampa




Editor's note: Vava Tampa is the founder of Save the Congo, a London-based campaign to tackle "the impunity, insecurity, institutional failure and the international trade of minerals funding the wars in Democratic Republic of the Congo." Follow Vava Tampa on twitter: @VavaTampa


(CNN) -- Now that President Obama has taken a public stand on the warlords and militia gangs tyrannizing DR Congo, there is a sense that the next chapter in the human tragedy that has been raging there over the past decade and half is about to be written -- or so we can hope.


In the DRC -- Africa's largest sub-Saharan country -- invasions, proxy wars and humanitarian crises have senselessly shut down millions of lives, displaced millions more from their homes and left countless women and young girls brutally raped with the world barely raising an eyebrow.


The latest murderous attempt by the M23 militia gang to besiege Goma, the strategic regional capital of Congo's eastern province of North Kivu, seems to have backfired.



Vava Tampa

Vava Tampa



The United Nations says Rwanda has helped to create and militarily supported M23. Although Rwandan President Paul Kagame denies backing M23, the accusation has taken off some of the international gloss he had long enjoyed in the West, and precipitated cuts and suspension of aid money that goes directly to the Kagame regime by the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Britain and the European Union.


The United States, which gives no money directly to the Rwandan government, suspended its military aid. In a baffling expression of a refinement of the U.S. position, President Obama made a rare telephone call to Kagame to emphasize "the importance of permanently ending all support to armed groups in the DRC." That set a firm red line on the situation in that region, the first one by President Obama since becoming president in 2008.
















Watch video: Kagame on Congo


This was certainly right and good. Kagame is no fool; the diplomatic but emphatic content of that telephone call, monitored by White House's National Security staff and published thereafter for public consumption, speaks volumes. He clearly understood the implicit threat. But it was not good enough.


Left unsaid is that withholding aid money that goes directly to the Kagame regime has not changed many realities on the ground -- a painful reminder of the limits of what previous half-hearted, ambivalent international attempts to halt the crisis in that country had achieved.


However, the situation is not hopeless. President Obama can help to halt the wars engulfing the Congo. It is both economically and politically affordable.


Here is my suggestion -- a three-point road map, if you like, for President Obama, should he choose to put the weight of the United States squarely on the side of the Congolese and engage much more robustly to help end the world's bloodiest war and human tragedy.


Read more: Why the world is ignoring Congo war


1. Changes in Kinshasa


If we are to be blunt with ourselves, Congo's major problem today -- the chief reason that country remains on its knees -- is its president Joseph Kabila. Paul Kagame is just a symptom, at least in theory.


The crisis of leadership in the capital Kinshasa, the disastrous blend of lack of political legitimacy and moral authority, mixed with poor governance and vision deficiency, then compounded with dilapidated state institutions, has become the common denominator to the ills and wrongs that continues to overwhelm the Congo.


In other words, peace will never be secured in Congo, if the moribund status quo is still strutting around Kinshasa.


Obama's minimum objective in regard to ending the wars and human tragedy engulfing the Congo should be to push for changes in Kinshasa. He must make this one of the "10 Commandments" of the Obama Doctrine.


Circumstances demand it to re-energize Congo's chance of success and to enable the renaissance of a "New Africa." And given the effects of Congo's mounting death toll and the speed at which HIV/AIDS is spreading because of the use of rape as a weapon of war, the sooner the better.


2. Keep Kagame in the naughty corner


The wars and human tragedy engulfing the Congo have many fathers and many layers. Rwanda, and to some extent Uganda -- run by Africa's two dearest autocratic but staunchly pro-American regimes -- are, as they have been many times in the past, despite their denials, continuing to provide support to warlords and militia gangs terrorizing the Congolese people.


This is not an apocryphal claim, it's an open secret in Kinshasa, Kampala and Kigali as much as it is in Washington or White Hall, and as real as Charles Taylor's role in Sierra Leone or Iran's support to Hezbollah.



If President Obama is remotely serious about saving lives in Congo, then fracturing Rwanda's ability to directly or indirectly harbor warlords ... is critical.
Vava Tampa, Save the Congo



Indeed, reporters across Congo and across the region would testify to this. Kigali has been, one can safely argue, the sole shareholder in the M23 militia gang -- and its elder sisters CNDP and RCD-Goma.


It cannot wash its hands in Pontius Pilate fashion of either the ICC-wanted M23 warlord Bosco Ntaganda, also known as The Terminator, or Laurent Nkunda, who is wanted by the Congolese government for war crimes and is under house arrest in Kigali.


Read more: Prosecutor seeks new Congo war crimes warrants


If President Obama is remotely serious about saving lives in Congo, then fracturing Rwanda's ability to directly or indirectly harbor warlords, support militia gangs, militarize or ethnicize the wars in Congo for control of Congo's easily appropriable but highly valuable natural resources is critical, however politically disgruntling it may be to some in the State Department.


It would reduce the scale, scope and intensity of the killing, raping and uprooting of the Congolese, it would crush Kinshasa's ability to use external support to warlords and militia gangs as an alibi for a lack of progress and, above all, decrease the growing unease of the Congolese towards Rwanda over the crimes of FDLR and the role played by their government in Congo.


3. FDLR


The continued existence in Congo of FDLR, a Rwandan militia gang made up largely of Hutus -- whose leadership took part in the 1994 genocide of Tutsi -- remains one of the most persistent and serious threats to stability in Congo and the region.


Addressing this crisis is of significant importance from both a political and humanitarian viewpoint.


Though there are no definitive statistics on the exact numbers of FDLR fighters, the good news is that experts tell us that the vast majority of its rank and file are in their 20s and early 30s, which means they were too young to have taken part in the genocide in 1994.


The United States, together with the U.N., the EU and African Union, should appoint a special envoy for the African Great Lakes region to midwife a conducive political arrangement in Kigali that could see them returning home -- and see their leaders and fundraisers in Europe arrested.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Vava Tampa.






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